Louise Bourgeois’ ‘Spider’ to Feature in Sotheby’s Auction

Sotheby’s, a premier auction house, is set to feature Louise Bourgeois‘ Spider from 1996 in its auction in May.

Louise Bourgeois' 'Spider' to Feature in Sotheby's Auction

This awe-inspiring sculpture, one of only four monumental Spiders ever to be auctioned, is expected to fetch between $30-40 million.

BourgeoisSpiders are some of the most captivating and ambitious works of art of the 20th century, reflecting both beauty and eeriness. The monumental Spiders, Bourgeois‘ most recognizable and acclaimed works, are now essential components of the world’s most prestigious private and public collections.

This Spider from 1996 is a poignant and critical example of Bourgeois‘ most famous motif, reflecting her artistic achievement at the peak of her career. The sculpture, which stands over 10 feet tall and measures more than 18 feet across, is both imposing and exquisite, and it evokes a child’s adoration for their mother.

The sculpture draws on Bourgeois‘ personal memories of her mother, who was a tapestry weaver and restorer. The spider represents both a predator and a repairer and protector, encapsulating Bourgeois‘ complex associations with motherhood.

Louise Bourgeois' 'Spider' to Feature in Sotheby's Auction
Louise Bourgeois photographed with Spider IV, 1996. Image © Peter Bellamy. Art © The Easton Foundation

The sculpture was initially acquired by Fundação Itaú in 1996 and has remained in the institution’s collection in São Paulo for more than 25 years. The sale of the sculpture, which was an early and significant component of Fundação Itaú’s collection, will contribute to the structure and continuity of Itaú Cultural, which is focused on initiatives in culture, education, and health in Brazil.

Spider has an unparalleled exhibition history, having been loaned to esteemed institutional collections and exhibited extensively across Brazil, including Inhotim Museum, Fundação Iberê Camargo, and the Museum of Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAR). The sculpture has been on loan at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art from 1997 – 2017.

This monumental Spider, a testament to Bourgeois‘ enduring appeal, will be displayed at Sotheby’s New York galleries from 6 – 18 May before taking centre stage in the Contemporary Evening Auction on 18 May.

This highly anticipated event will offer art enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to acquire a truly iconic work of art.

Images: Sotheby’s